A top official in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during the Obama administration commuted to work via taxi more than 100 times over two years and billed the government for the unauthorized rides.
On at least 130 occasions from 2014 to 2016, Vikrum Aiyer, the then-chief of staff for the office, called a taxi to chauffeur him from the vicinity of his home in Washington, D.C., to agency headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
The inspector general for the Commerce Department released a detailed report on its investigation into the cab rides Tuesday but did not name Aiyer. The Washington Post reported Aiyer’s name Wednesday.
The investigation found Aiyer concealed his misuse of the agency’s account with the taxi company by using names of current and former employees or made up names when ordering the cabs.
He also wrote false or inaccurate locations and names on the receipts and vouchers, the report said.
Investigators determined that Aiyer charged more than $4,000 to the account, most of which was between January and April 2016.
Aiyer was interviewed by investigators in December 2016 about the prohibited taxi rides and a senior department official was told of the investigation after. Aiyer resigned from the agency before President Trump took office.
Aiyer also charged $15,000 in expenses on a government-issued credit card during a 4-year period, the report said. Aiyer personally paid back those expenses, according to the Washington Post.
“This misunderstanding of agency taxi rules was brought to my attention two years ago. At the time, I immediately offered to repay the agency, and stand by that offer to actively work with an agency I deeply respect to resolve this matter," Aiyer, who now works for a San Francisco company, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.